I've been told that when elephants are very young, their owners tie them to a stake in the ground to keep them from escaping. Baby elephants can't budge the stake, no matter how hard they try.
A full grown elephant can easily dislodge the stake and walk away. Only they don't.
They don't because they believe they can't. Because they couldn't move the stake when they were young, they don't even try.
I have often felt like an elephant. There were lessons I learned when I was young that I believed to be true for all time. What I now call my character defects were "just who I am."
In Al-Anon I've learned that these things do not have to remain fixed. These character defects are simply self-defense mechanisms that have overshot the mark. I am stronger now, and I can pick up the stakes that have held me in place. Sometimes easily, sometimes not. But only if I try.